Added: Jarita Zaragoza - Date: 02.11.2021 11:44 - Views: 32938 - Clicks: 671
Image may have been resized or cropped from original. Typically, nearly everything we write about the islands is through a positive lens — we talk about the amazing, the awesome, the glowing aspects of living life in the Hawaiian Islands. Many family work several jobs, live paycheck to paycheck, have substandard by mainland comparison housing conditions, very little expendable income and at any moment are living on the financial edge.
If you can stay here for the long term you can work your way up, but on day one be prepared to live a vastly downgraded lifestyle. On various rankings, Hawaii nearly always comes at the bottom of the list in terms of starting a business. Because everyone wants to live here and is willing to work for less admittedly this is just our guess and not a data research-backed conclusion , the result is that jobs here pay much less than their mainland counterparts.
So you really end up taking a double-hit: first you get hurt due to a much higher cost of living than nearly any other city and then you get whacked with a pay cut. This was the view I was greeted by in the morning as I came out the door to head to work in Paia, Maui from our home in Honokowai Kahana. Image Copyright CyberCom, Inc. Do the math. So either you have to make a really high income with very little expenses or you have to already have a home that you can sell that has sufficient equity.
As a result of these sky-high prices, most middle class folks in Hawaii must rent and those rents go up every year due to ever-climbing real estate prices. Yes, even our Sunday morning drives are packed in! We know of friends that moved to LA from Honolulu and they think Honolulu is worse. The freeways look like parking lots during rush hours that can stretch a normally 30 minute commute into a two hour crawl.
Every workday. On some parts of Oahu people have to get up at 5am to get to work by 8am. No lie. If your travel time can flex from 30 minutes to 2 hours, what time do you leave the house to get into town by 10am? Who knows? This forces you to leave early and then you might arrive really early, on-time, or late. This wastes a lot of time and makes one want to avoid driving whenever possible. When we get the occasional big highway accident, the entire island chokes on traffic.
There have been some horror stories of people taking 8 hours to get home. Less competition is almost always bad for consumers and here it applies to much more than just high prices. This lack of competition also permeates our politics: Hawaii is a single party state, featuring the lowest voter turnout in the nation.
This all contributes to an attitude of apathy for many. You would think our conditions would be ripe for change and consumer revolt, but in Hawaii our Aloha Spirit culture creates a shrug-and-bear-it type of attitude. All in Hawaii are minorities but there is a pecking order. Hawaiians are on the top of the heap, followed by other Polynesians, then Asians, and finally the Haoles. Most mainland haoles never get past this. What does this mean, really? It means you will have to completely let go of your Western self and completely embrace your new Hawaiian islander self.
You must be like Lt. If you insist on remaining Lt. Nothing here is cheap. Even locally produced goods cost a ton more. Why are things so expensive here? Visitors to Hawaii need only take one trip to the grocery store or any restaurant to experience extreme sticker shock that us islanders have just come to accept. Honolulu traffic. Anything in Hawaii that becomes even somewhat popular immediately becomes overcrowded.
This perhaps may be more acute on Oahu than the other islands but the underlying fundamentals are similar. Find a good restaurant? New product announcement? Lines around the block. Big concert in town? Sold out in an hour. Big shopping sale at the mall?
Big event anywhere? Traffic backed up for miles. Big surf event? No road tripping here on the island! One of many things mainland Americans take for granted is the amazingly awesome fun of a road trip. So in reality what you end up doing is driving across the island and then back.
What ends up happening over time is you go less and less, growing ever more distant from mainland family. Surprisingly, our fresh fruit selection is not very good. While we have good local supply of pineapples, bananas and papayas, fruit that has to be shipped in is rarely ripe and either overripe or underripe. Peaches are the best example: we only get really sweet and juicy peaches for perhaps weeks out of the year with substandard selection after that. Restaurants are a problem too. Hawaii has a large selection of Asian-centric restaurants but after that it falls off the cliff.
Italian, Greek, Mexican, Pizza and the like are sorely lacking. But great [anything else] restaurants? Share this with anyone you know that lives in Hawaii and they will have little to disagree with. But, guess what? They are still here and so are we! This of course is an individual choice and only you can weigh out your own internal equation. Hawaii is the last place I would live. My daughter got a divorce and requested to move herself and her 3 girls back to the mainland to be closer to family.
And provide proof the cost of living was much lower. She found a job and housing and provided all the documents, lower cost of living, school and their ratings etc. But her relocation request was denied by the Judge saying just because you want to be closer to your family and the cost of living is cheaper, the move would not benefit the girls in any way. He flat out disrespected our family. She was devastated. My daughter was denied her Ohana. The judge and custody evaluator were outwardly biased and the trial was a sham.
They are holding my daughter and her girls hostage. She lost her right to move home to family. Seems like much of what your article talks about applies mostly to Oahu. Same for Kauai. The Big Island is our buffer during hurricane season something you left out so I would never want to live there. The other stuff, though, I would argue is either structural high costs or cultural and is relatively similar. This article is spot on and I wish I had seen it before we purchased a vacation home in Hawaii late last year.
We still live on the mainland and the home is in need of upgrades. Everything you describe Peter is true. We are Haole, and we cannot get anyone to service us to do repairs or upgrades in our home. We have called, and called, and followed up, and people have come by in April, and we are still waiting for our quotes — more than 2 months later. You call to follow up on the quote and they tell you they will call you back, that never happens. You call them back and they pretend like its the first conversation you are having with them even though you asked and spoke to them 6 times before in the past two months.
They give you the runaround, and pretty much laugh in your face. To me that is not the spirit of Aloha at all but extremely bad Karma. We have called other providers, and same thing. We are at a point that we are considering paying and bringing our own d crew from the mainland to finish the work. The reason is, if we continue at this rate, we will never get to enjoy our investment and it will take 10 years to finish the work — and maybe longer.
And who know if by then we will still be around, We are not spring chickens. My wife is in tears nearly every day in despair because we have worked hard all of our lives to try and make this small bucket list, dream come true. Thank you for your article, it comes to late for us but hopefully it will head warning for others because Hawaii is definitely not the paradise that everyone thinks it is.
Your situation is exactly what I teach people to avoid and is what my Islander Ohana program is all about for others considering making such a big move. Thank you for this article, it gave me a lot to think about! My husband and I are 25, no kids, I work remote and my husband is a young contractor.
My husband is not Hawaiian but Korean and he grew up visiting family and friends in Oahu. We were under the impression that the Housing market is expensive but vibrant? Is this true? Great questions, Bethany.I need a sexy girl friend to join me to maui
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